Many of those who have participated in abortion eventually feel the need to be forgiven. However we repeatedly hear from those who find it easy enough to accept God’s forgiveness, yet are still unable to forgive themselves.
If you have not yet accepted God’s forgiveness, that is your first step. However, if you have accepted God’s forgiveness and still feel the need to forgive yourself, please read on.
First John 3: 19-20 (from the Bible) says: “This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in His presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything.”
God knows everything about you. And if your heart is condemning you for the part you played in abortion (even after accepting His forgiveness) it is important for you to know that God is greater than your heart. His grace, as proven in the price He paid for your sins through the shed blood of Jesus on the cross, was then and is now sufficient for all your heartaches, all your sin, all your guilt and shame. God has provided all-encompassing forgiveness for you. And because He has provided it, He does not want you to continue to be weighted down with these destructive feelings. He loves you and wants you to know that He has removed your sin from you as far as the east is from the west. He has even chosen to forget your sin.
On the other hand, if you are a Christian (and have truly repented of your sin), you have a very real enemy who wants to keep you feeling the guilt and shame. Satan cannot take your salvation or your forgiveness away, but he can try to keep you feeling so guilty, so ashamed, so unworthy of forgiveness that you become totally paralyzed–or worse yet–self-destructive.
I encourage you today, if you are still trying to forgive yourself, to turn again to Jesus. Renounce your sin and the feelings that are keeping you in turmoil. Embrace His all-encompassing forgiveness and choose as an act of your will to put these feelings where they belong–at the foot of the cross. Acknowledge that Jesus’ death on the cross is sufficient and abandon your efforts to achieve forgiveness on your own. To continue to try to forgive yourself is like saying what Jesus did was great–but it wasn’t enough.
Of course that doesn’t mean you will never feel guilt or remorse or shame again. But when these feelings arise–each time they arise– instead of allowing them to paralyze you or dishearten you, take them again to the cross and leave them there.